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OK, you are now starting to make me nervous! ;)

Iron Deficient Anemia is NOT a small, baby problem! I don't know enough about hematologists to know if there are some who specialize in treating anemia, as I am new to this anemia world myself. But, I do know that hematologists are specialists in diseases of the blood, and that's what anemia is! If you had a ferritin level of 3 6 months ago and your other current blood levels that indicate anemia are out or whack, you DO need to see a specialist! Apparently, ferritin can takes months or possibly even years to get back to a healthy level. With a low ferritin level, from the research I've done here and other places, your hemoglobin and hematocrit are going to keep going down. It is time to intervene!

So...Are you saying that the hematologists with good reputations in NYC don't take insurance at all? Or do they just not accept your insurance? Maybe you don't need to see the most hot shot doctor. You live in Jersey, don't you? Are you looking in the city b/c you work there and it's more convenient? Or do you think that the docs are better there? I live in Lexington, KY--not exactly a hub of sophistication!--and have found some really great docs here. And also some who aren't so great, like my GP who kept ignoring the anemia!

Regarding hematology and oncology....my hematologist is also in the oncology wing of the clinic, with the "chemotherapy suite" just down the hall. From what I gather, hematology and oncology are both subspecialties that often overlap. My BP was a little high at my first visit, and the medical assistant who was taking it laughed and asked me if I'd freaked out a little when I saw the oncology signs, which I guess often happens to patients who have been referred to hematology when they see it's in the oncology wing. She reassured me that my case had nothing to do with cancer.

GPs often don't take anemia seriously, but hematologists do. Your GP told you to take a multivitamin w/iron, right? Mine didn't even say I needed to do that! However, my hematologist is ready to start IV iron treatments b/c of my ferritin level of 5. She is skipping the oral iron supplementation b/c she wants to get my iron stores up ASAP, and doesn't think I'd be able to tolerate oral iron since I'm already have stomach issues. And, btw, if you are taking an iron supplement that is stronger than just the multivitamin, you are supposed to do this under a doctor's care.

I seriously doubt you are a hypochondriac. I know it's hard to challenge what a GP (or 2) says, but sometimes you just have to. My husband and I both have other medical issues, and the only way we've received any real help was to do our own research and to talk to others with the same problems. My husband has insulin dependent diabetes and has developed peripheral neuropathy. He joined a support group for people with neuropathy in Louisville (90 minutes from here) and has learned soooo much more from the members of this group than he has from any of his doctors.

OK. I'll now step off of my soapbox. ;) Oh, wait! Remember that it's also really important to find out what is causing the anemia. I don't want to scare you, but I do want you to take this seriously.





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